The Jobz

A noted comparison to The Strokes made me intrigued enough to follow the link on Reddit to give these guys a listen and while the sample size is considerably small I enjoyed them. A certain college radio vibe is heard when they play giving them a raw and unpolished pallet that creates an ambiance in the music that is uplifting enough to take you away from the music but intriguing enough that if you listen closely you can hear the intricacies they have placed in the song. Smooth and clear guitar lines cut through the melody allowing the song to breath and moving it forward in a tempo that isn’t unsettling or too fast for the singer. Foot tapping ensued as the song progressed and an interesting breakdown at the end may actually be calling back to more inspiration from bands that wouldn’t typically fit in this genre – speculation only. While frat houses and small bars might be the scene they have to penetrate first I do think that The Jobz have a sound that is alternative enough to be embraced but melodic enough to have a broad appeal.

Inspirational Friday

I will admit sometimes I’m all over the place with this blog and I need to focus more on finding and sharing great music from bands or musicians you may not know. This is definitely music related and inspiring and makes me realize that life is too short to care what people have to say – good or bad – and just do what you feel is right. Zach Sobiech has only a few weeks to live and wrote a song about his life coming to an end. Although grim in context the song is a beautiful way to say goodbye and a brave example of how you can share your life with others from beyond the grave. The song itself has been played many, many, many times on YouTube but this one is a little different. You may have heard about it or seen it yourself but this is so beautiful and a send off to someone who clearly had a lot of struggles and hardships in his way to short life. Gorgeous, just gorgeous.

To The Wind

I’ve always loved bands like 7 Angels 7 Plagues and Misery Signals, yes I am aware they are pretty much the same band, and To The Wind reminds me a lot of those two groups. While the talking segments found in the majority of 7a7p and Misery Signals songs are missing the guitar parts and intricate drumming are clearly influenced by them. The pounding song runs up on you like George Brett sprinting out of the dugout after being called out for too much pine tar on the bat. It comes up on you and suddenly you’re in a dizzying onslaught of music that fires on all cylinders and wakes you up in the middle of a battlefield where everyone has been laid to rest. Their aggressive approach is heavy enough for any purist but allows some breathing room with gun slinging guitar riffs and break-heavy breakdowns that make them all so much more brutal. A great band that has been picked up, I can see these guys quickly becoming a fan favorite and making their way on lineups of some of the genres biggest bands.

Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors

It’s been some time since I’ve written, I’m not happy about it and hopefully this delightful slice of Americana will make up for my absence. I have a feeling I’ll read that sentence in the near future and fall asleep from boredom…HELLLLLLLLO Google analytics and my time spent on site ratings crashing through the roof!

Sorry, pulling it back in now.

Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors are a refreshing diversion from folk and country yet land right in the middle where John Mellencamp and Tom Petty made their mark. A singer-songwriter with a voice that can sing all over the map and can get down and dirty when it is needed and does so tastefully. They have built strong songs that employee enjoyable melodies, story-lines and structures that make you want to study them as if they are architecture you have never seen before. There is something homey about these songs that despite what they may be singing about, whether it’s a sad song or one of joyous conviction proclaiming love to the one who got away it takes you back. I never lived in a town where people put apple pies out on their windowsill to cool down but this music takes me there and almost makes me reminisce of those days even though I have no grounds or experience to pull from. I would love to see what I can do with Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors because I feel they have a ton of potential. I can see people referencing them in the near future as influences in their music, I just don’t think mainstream is ready to accept an act like this right now…shame.

Capsule

Capsule is a band that is really right up my alley. Loud, heavy and slow like the march of death taking place in a movie scene where two war starved nations are drawing closer until all hell breaks loose. The slow paced, heavily distorted palm muted chords that are filled with just the right amount of  single string riffs fill the songs beautifully and adds color to songs that many may find redundant. Although the vocals are somewhat drowned out by the instruments I still enjoy the deep growl that comes from the gut and delivers an aggressive message to the listener. Their music isn’t completely original in the sense that they are taking from a variety of artists – no music really is original – but they are hitting a segment that I believe needs to be filled now that the Deftones and Meshuggah are getting older and releasing new material further and further apart. Capsule creates a heavy, brutal scene that can only be described as captivating. Their sound is one that is missing from the “metal” genre and one that I feel they can take advantage because of the need for it in the market. I won’t say they are on pace for Lamb of God or Killswitch Engage type of legacy but I do believe they have the ability to cut out a nice segment and be underground favorites.

How’d I Miss This?

A.V. Club, the popular music and, I guess, pop culture website has a music feature where they bring in bands to cover a predetermined set of 25-songs to cover. The band comes in and selects from those songs out of the 25 that haven’t been selected yet and play them in their own desired manner. The songs are, for the most part, well known songs as to not exploit the views and make the feature itself something people will be excited to find and continue to come back to check the new videos. Although I haven’t checked out a ton of them there are a few standouts.

(in no particular order)

Clem Snide – Faithfully (Journey)

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists – Everybody Wants To Rule The World (Tears for Fears)

Frightened Rabbit – Surrender (Cheap Trick)

Some people feel that cover songs are corny and have no place in an artists repertoire but imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and even if these artists put their own spin on it, I think the creators would feel elated that they did their song justice.

Arcane Roots

Arcane Roots are a 3-piece outfit from the UK that, although not fully comparable, reminds me somewhat of Muse, I will admit it could just be the 3-piece band thing from the UK though. The full brute-force attack in the intro made me feel like I was in the midst of a great fighter throwing jabs and hooks at an opponent who was staggering into the corner doing all he could to protect himself. And then the singing started and out from the ring flew a butterfly that was surrounded in a white radiant ball and propelled itself upward. The odd act of brute-force followed by the sweet symphonic sound that escaped the singers voice was an interesting paradox, of sorts, and reminds me a lot of how Muse and Matt Bellamy attack a record. The twist and turns and rapid changes of emotion are more like a prepubescent teen but only if you can take that in a good way because what I really mean is that it adds to the song. The constant shifting and morphing of the song creates a story that yearns and needs to be followed. I can see this band making a splash in the U.S. soon if they continue to produce music like this, I can also – dare I say – see them being a, somewhat, formidable opponent for Muse in crossover success.

Gogol Bordello

In the winding roads of discovery sometimes you miss things that are right in front of you. I can’t pinpoint for sure when I initially heard the name Gogol Bordello but I do know for sure I definitely ignored their music. It wasn’t for some sort of protest against, as they call it, “Gypsy Punk” but more than likely because I was just too damn lazy to give it the attention I thought it didn’t deserve. Yesterday a co-worker of mine was listening to a heavily mid-eastern styled band that infused some good ol’ rock-n-roll vibes and weaved in carnival type themes as well. I walked past his office, which apparently made him happy – this is rarely the case – and he called me in to give these guys a listen. I gave a quick listen as we chatted and, as we often do, veered off into some kind of discussion about John Stamos or Bob Saget’s drug fueled life after his stint as Danny Tanner on Full House. Despite our deviations from the initial topics I did leave his office with a new task and a new band to check out.

Eclectic music is something I love. Usually the weirder the better, as long as it has some kind of musical direction to it and is not just a person turning nobs on a synthesizer and whispering into a microphone. That Handsome Devil and Frank Zappa are the first two artists that come to mind in this situation. So I sat down at my computer and played “Start Wearing Purple”, if I could smash my computer with excitement while only keeping the speakers intact I would have. I honestly don’t know why that is my first inclination to hearing something I love but alas, I can’t explain why I do a lot of the things I do. The pure audacity in performing music like this is so eye opening and so inspiring it had me wanting to smash plates as if I was at a Greek wedding. The back beat rhythm gives it a, of all things, polka feel while still keeping the music refreshingly modern and progressive. Just the thought of the music is causing a sensation in my entire body that I have to keep compressed because dancing on my desk is frowned upon by the powers to be. Either way I was late to the Gogol Bordello party, it’s a good thing they never stop though because I may have just found my favorite new artist.

Personal Story Time

When I first started this blog I wanted it to be a journey of my own musical discovery peppered with bits and pieces of my own experiences playing, writing and performing music. With that being said I wanted to share the story of my first time performing for a crowd, which was last night (4/2/13) at a small cafe in Astoria.

Walking by a small store front named Waltz-Astoria I discovered I had come across an interesting coffee shop on Ditmars Blvd. in Astoria, NY. As I passed I noticed a small green – my mind may be fuzzy – flyer that read something to the effect of “Open Mic: Every Tuesday and Wednesday Night.” Continue reading

Skeletonbreath

I haven’t thought of this band in a really long time and I saw there name on a Reddit thread today so I wanted to throw something up here about them. It’s not every day I can listen to a full album of raucous violin playing set to dance/hip-hop drumming and rock bass lines and rock out in my car but when I throw on Skeletonbreath all bets are off. A very interesting departure from typical instrumental music and one that examines and explores the long reaches of  where classical music may take you. Despite using the word “classical” don’t be fooled, this is not the case with Skeletonbreah as you may have surmised from my previous statements. The progressive nature of their music delivers us interesting time signatures and interesting rhythmic patterns that take us from the cavernous depths of the heart to the heights of mountains where we feel triumphant and free. Their music on record is nothing at all like their live show and it’s something that must be experienced to fully appreciate their artistry.

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